Department of Philosophy


Professors Emeriti
Robert C. Howell, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Bonnie Steinbock, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Bradley Armour-Garb, Ph.D. (Department Chair)
Rachel Cohon, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
P.D. Magnus, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Jonathan Mandle, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Associate Professors   
Marcus Adams, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Jason D’Cruz, Ph.D.
Brown University
Kristen Hessler, Ph.D.
University of Arizona       
Ronald A. McClamrock, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Monika Piotrowska, Ph.D.
University of Utah
Nathan Powers, Ph.D.
Princeton University

Assistant Professor
Ariel Zylberman, Ph.D.
University of Toronto

Teaching Assistants (estimated): 9

The department offers diversified and flexible programs leading to the B.A. and M.A. degrees. A combined B.A./M.A. program is available to qualified students. Through lectures, seminars, tutorials, guided research, undergraduate and graduate colloquia, a student philosophy club, interdisciplinary and special studies programs, and visiting philosophers, a challenging and balanced context for philosophical development is provided for major and non-majors alike.

In pursuing philosophy, students develop their ability to solve problems, communicate effectively, and organize ideas. Philosophy majors are successfully employed in many different areas of the private sector and government service—as managers, administrators, journalists, etc.—wherever a liberal education combining analytical skills with breadth of perspective is valued. Holders of the bachelor’s degree in philosophy obtain jobs held by liberal arts graduates in newspapers, government, management, law, and computer-connected businesses.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Philosophy

General Program B.A.: Students are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits in philosophy, no more than 6 of which may be at the 100 level. These required credits must include: A PHI 110 or 111, 210, 212 or 326, 310, 312; an additional upper division historical course from among A PHI 311, 314, 315, 321, 329, 442, 523, 524, 544, 546, 550, 552, 554, 556; a course numbered A PHI 400 or above; and 1 credit from U UNL 207. (A student may substitute A PHI 412 or A PHI 416 for A PHI 110.) Students are strongly urged to plan their individual programs of study in consultation with their advisers and in the light of their interests and career goals.

Honors Program

The purpose of the honors program is to provide well-qualified students with close contact with faculty and fuller training in philosophical research and writing than are normally possible.

Students may be admitted in the second semester of their sophomore year or during their junior year. To be admitted, students must have completed 12 credits of course work from the Department of Philosophy. In addition, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 overall and 3.50 in philosophy. Students must submit evidence of their written work, preferably a paper written for a philosophy course. A departmental honors committee administers the program, admitting students and evaluating their work.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 42 credits. They must fulfill all regular requirements for the major, and in addition, take at least two 500 level courses in philosophy (8 credits), and A PHI 498, Honors Thesis (4 credits). The honors thesis is a 20–30 page essay, written in the senior year, under the supervision of a faculty member in the department, and acceptable to the departmental Honors Committee.

Students are graduated “with honors in philosophy” upon satisfactory completion of the curricular requirements with a grade point average of 3.50 in philosophy and a minimum 3.25 overall.

Combined B.A./M.A. Program

The combined B.A./M.A. program in philosophy provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master’s degree programs from the beginning of the junior year. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.A. and M.A. degrees within nine semesters.

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90 credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all university and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits, and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, or other professional experience and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.

Students may apply for admission to the combined degree program in philosophy at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration.